What do you need to do to put up offshore wind turbines? You need to know where the wind is. That’s what Ruben Delgado, a faculty research assistant in UMBC’s Joint Center for Earth Systems Technology (JCET), is working on.
Timothy Wheeler at the Baltimore Sun wrote:
“Also aboard are scientists from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, who are gathering data on atmospheric conditions and winds high above the water, where the giant turbine blades will be.
Ruben Delgado, a faculty research assistant at UMBC, said the data gathered using remote sensing gear on board as well as old-fashioned weather balloons launched from the deck will help scientists and potential wind developers ground-truth the government’s wind-speed estimates, which are generated by computer models using mostly land-based data. The cruise also may provide information on how winds can vary from day to day and hour to hour.
“You need to know what the variation is,” Delgado said, “because if you have a windmill and all of a sudden have a gust, that means it’s going to produce more power.”
On Friday afternoon, the windspeed aloft where the turbine blades would spin was a steady 10 meters per second, he reported.”